Service Virtualisation for Proprietary Client-Server Protocols

Service Virtualisation and Reducing Risk


Organisations can benefit in many ways through the use of service virtualisation to reduce risk and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the development and testing process. This is achieved by an ability to stand up multiple testing environments in minutes while reducing the load on back office systems.

The Use of Proprietary Protocols

Since the advent of the Client-Server architectures, when the first distributed applications were created as opposed to monolithic ones, organisations have been deploying applications that communicate using proprietary transports like SNA, or over open transports such as TCP/IP.

As there were no standards such as HTTP for the protocols running over these transports, many organisations have developed their own internal ‘standards’ for the messages deployed as part of these solutions which are used extensively and effectively to roll out new and improved applications.

These architectures still survive today with many of the server components in particular still playing a major part in the day to day operations of organisations. What has generally happened is that the client component has been upgraded with new and improved technologies while still communicating with the original service.

Proprietary Protocols, and the Problems with Modern Technology

The problem now is that there has been an explosion in channels and devices on which consumers and the business are expecting to see their information. This has led to massive demands for new and improved apps that run on the Cloud or on Mobile devices. These apps often still have a dependency on those services and on proprietary protocols to function, thus making the testing and roll out of new apps a major challenge.

The world of service virtualisation has become a massive business, however, many vendors totally ignore and do not offer support for these types of proprietary protocols for a number of reasons:

  • The number of people with experience of these protocols is ever dwindling.
  • They are not the same ‘slam dunk’ almost ‘instant success’ scenario one gets with the virtualisations of standards based web services.
  • There is a lack of understanding around how to virtualise these proprietary services without going to massive expense to build custom solutions.
  • Even with a custom solution, the data is not available to test these services.
  • Integrating with these services can be a painful and tricky exercise.

Ostia Can Help

Organisations can achieve massive savings through the virtualisation of such services and data; Ostia’s Portus Test technology can deliver this dream by offering a customisable approach to creating standard SOAP and REST implementations around these services even when they have used their own internal standard protocols running over both standard and non-standard transports. This has benefits for testing of new apps in the development stage but can also assist in their roll out later in production.


Author - John Power - CEO Ostia Solutionslinkedin-badge-for-email



Written by : Ostia Solutions